New Delhi: Gurpreet Singh scored twice as Pune Strykers notched up a 3-1 victory over hosts Delhi Wizards in their second match of the World Series Hockey tournament at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday.
Both the teams had a winning start to their campaign but it was Pune who were able to keep their slate clean as they scored through Mario Almada (5th minute), Gurpreet Singh (53rd and 59th) for Pune.
For Delhi Wizards, who had beaten Karnataka Lions 3-2 yesterday, Philip Sunkel (26th) pulled one back.
Pune Strykers earned the first blood in the first quarter with Mario Almada’s reverse strike finding the cage from a goal mouth melle in the 20th minute. Eight minutes off the first quarter, Delhi had almost scored but their goal was disallowed.
Pune created more opportunities and earned their first penalty corner in the 10th minute, but their variation didn’t work out with Vikas Pillay hitting wide. In the 13th minute, Delhi earned two consecutive PCs but Pune`s defence stood like a wall to give their rivals at bay as the home team went into the break 0-1 behind.
In the second quarter, Delhi had an early chance to score but Shakeel Abbasi’s pass to Vikram Kanth went off the target.
In the 20th minute, Pune earned their second short corner but the Wizards were up to the job.
The hosts finally brought up the equalizer eight minutes into the second quarter when German Philip Sunkel, standing infront of the goalpost, deflected home a pass from Vikram Kanth inside the D.
Delhi could have gone ahead but they squandered two successive penalty corners in the 30th minute. Pune were equally erroneous as they also failed to convert a penalty corner in the dying moments of the second quarter.
In the third quarter, both the teams employed a fast-paced game and made many inroads into the rival camp but without any success as the 1-1 deadlock continued. In the dying moments, Stykers gained a short corner and this time they didn`t make any mistake with Gurpreet Singh finding the back of the cage with a grounded flick.
Pushed to the wall, Delhi tried their best to create opportunities but their finishing let them down. The Strykers also made many penetrations and their efforts were awarded when Gurpreet converted a penalty stroke, ten minutes off the hooter to seal the match.
Five minutes off the hooter, Delhi made a last ditch attempt but a diving Philip failed to connect properly a pass from Abbasi as the deflection went wide of the post.